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The three-day symposium concluded Saturday, Feb 4. Seminars of the day focused on how to plan a metaverse strategy. A key outcome of the sessions will answer the question, “Where do I begin my metaverse journey?”

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Sally Cherry has been a certified medical laboratory scientist in the physical world since the mid-1970s. But she has spent the last fifteen in the real and virtual world.

This weekend, Cherry was one of the pioneers at the BEYA Metaquake Symposium. She shared her rich and varied experiences building a metaverse strategy with Bianca J. Jackson, a metaverse and Web3 strategy consultant and meeting venue owner at BrickRose Exchange.

The first time Cherry visited Second Life, she landed in an adult-only world. She was so intimidated by the experience that her avatar (which has evolved over the years) flew out of that environment and didn’t return. But Cherry was undaunted.

Known as “Squirrel” to her colleagues and friends because of her tenacity in gathering information, Cherry was intent on finding a way to use the tool to sell her commodity: information.

Cherry had been doing medical training for years before the Gulf War Desert Storm military operation ground her services to a halt. With travel restricted to places like Turkey, Kenya, Uganda, and Egypt, Cherry used distance learning tools to stay in touch with her medical personnel in Asia, Europe, and Africa. But her vision was to extend distance learning with new technology.

Around 2003, she heard about the virtual worlds developed by Linden Research, the tech company that created Second Life. Before Second Life, Cherry had taken her traveling laboratory to Metaplace, a Flash-based virtual world built to run inside the browser on an Internet-connected machine.  By the time Metaplace closed in 2010, Cherry had a clearer picture of the vast and diverse ecosystem.

Since 2008, Cherry had been running a health technology awareness program in Second Life. Essentially an individual for-profit contractor, Cherry also worked with nonprofits to enhance their mission with information technology.

In 2012, she attended a three-day event hosted by the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds, established by the National Defense University iCollege in 2007 for agencies interested in exploring the use of virtual worlds in government, sharing best practices, and networking. Cherry was blown away.

With new collaborations forged at the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds, Cherry set up a laboratory grid in OpenSimulator. This open-source platform, which was started in 2007, supports collaborative, immersive, distributed, and social 3D-virtual environments.

Cherry’s advice to entrepreneurs is to have an idea before testing the market. Then, ask yourself how you plan to use tools like the metaverse, artificial intelligence (AI), non-fungible tokens, and the blockchain.

For her 70th birthday, after celebrating in the physical world with her daughter and family on a cruise, she returned to the United States and had a virtual party with her 3D community, complete with a deejay and dancing avatars.

Cherry has released a series of artificial intelligence (AI) generated NFTs related to medical laboratory science and hosted a “Medical Lab Break Lounge” room in Clubhouse. She has also hosted several events in her 3D immersive virtual laboratory complex, “Virtual Laboratory Training and Career Center (VLTCC),” located in the OpenSimulator-generated grid, Kitely. Click  The Amazing World of Sally S. Cherry, aka “CHERRY NETWORK” to learn more.

To celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 23-29, Cherry hopes to join Black Ladies in Public Health to honor the forgotten victims of COVID-19 and raise awareness of medical laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in health care and patient advocacy.


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